Walmart and Amazon both reported being overstaffed in Q1 – Morning Brew

Walmart and Amazon both reported being overstaffed in Q1 – Morning Brew

CHRIS J RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images
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After over a year of reports about companies struggling to find employees, Walmart and Amazon, America’s two largest retailers, have a problem you probably weren’t expecting: They have too many workers. It’s a pivot faster than the four days between “Dad doesn’t want a dog” and “Dad purchased a $400 thunder vest for Gwenny.”
In its earnings call this week, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that due to a late 2021 hiring surge to cover Omicron-related staffing shortages, the company experienced weeks of overstaffing in the first quarter of this year. Along with higher fuel prices and an inventory glut, elevated labor costs led to a 24.8% profit decline from last year.
Amazon also reported earlier this month that employees returning from sick leave resulted in a quick transition from being understaffed to overstaffed. The company, which hired 270,000 workers in the second half of 2021, is unlikely to resort to layoffs due to its more than 100% turnover rate.
Zoom out: Big Retail isn’t the only industry deleting old tweets about how “nobody wants to work anymore.” In tech, Meta announced a hiring freeze across some departments, while Uber told employees it would be “deliberate” about adding to headcount. Robinhood, Peloton, Cameo, and Netflix have all announced layoffs.—MK
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